Claire House is a children’s hospice situated in the Wirral. It is a safe haven for families with children who are seriously or terminally ill, where they can receive 24 hour care from dedicated and qualified staff in a loving, fun and safe environment. Claire house welcomes both children and their families to stay together to experience the magic they can provide, or parents can choose to leave their children at Claire house surrounded by professionals who will care for them both physically and emotionally, whilst the families can enjoy some much needed respite which is particularly useful for those who have additional children.
In order for Claire house to support the number of families it does it needs to rely heavily on fundraising which is why they have a number of fundraising events throughout the year. This year they celebrated the 5th anniversary of their Splash Dash event and we went along to join in the fun.
This year the event was at Sefton Park in Liverpool and from the moment we arrived the place was buzzing with excited families, some in fancy dress, some in serous running gear but all in white tops on and huge smiles on their faces. My boys were already excited as we did this event last year but this year we also brought my mum along making it a three generation family affair.
The event started with a warm up of Zumba which was led by the funniest zumba instructor I have ever “zumbad” with, he had everyone laughing as they jumped around and crashed into each other, capturing the mood for the day.
Once we were all suitably warmed up, or actually pretty exhausted, it was time to make our way to the starting line. We had our sunglasses and tutus at the ready as we walked/ran/piggybacked/tiddlercarried/jogged and in a bid to keep up with the over energetic 7 year old, even sprinted our way around the park from paint station to paint station.
For the children I think the paint stations are the most fun, it is here they get to make their way through a cloud of coloured paint whilst volunteers throw more directly at them until those crisp white tops look more like something from Mr. Tumbles wardrobe.
For the parents however, it is at these paint stations that we truly appreciate the fact we can enjoy such events with our children because each paint station is ran by a family in memory or support of their child who has used Claire House. This isn’t a sad event though, in fact it is one full of laughter and smiles and a way for the family to remember the joy Claire house has given their family in the past as they now bring joy to other children at the event. But still, as I entered each paint station and read the family information there was a part of me that felt gratitude for my own family but also a reminder as to why we were doing the event and how important our donations are to the families that rely on amazing services of Claire house.
As we crossed the finish line together we were one multi coloured, exhausted, happy family and receiving our medals and goody bags was just the icing on an already brilliant cake.